Handling Disagreement with Grace

By: Brad Rogers

As a Christian, I think we who claim Christ as our Lord sometimes can get in our heads the very false notion that those of us who follow Jesus should never have differences with one another.  As if somehow Jesus promised us, that if we follow him, we would not ever sin against each other again, and we would all think the same way about everything.  The former won’t end until heaven and the latter would make us all boring people who never really grow.  I have oversimplified things with only these two possibilities, but Christians clearly will have strong differences with one another in this life just like everyone else.  So how do we maintain the deep and abiding unity God calls us to as Christians in the midst of our disagreements?  John Piper, while pastoring a large church, gave advice to his staff that displays the knowledge of a biblical scholar as well as the wisdom of a grace-filled, seasoned pastor as he humbly shares key principles to guide them in the midst of differences. Much of the wisdom he shares with his staff linked here is surely helpful both inside and outside the walls of the church. Read the article here.

Grace in the Midst of Depression & Anxiety

By: Brad Rogers

Depression and anxiety are formidable, if not crippling foes, which have ailed even the strongest of Christ’s followers throughout church history.  In this article, Nashville Pastor, Scott Sauls, writes about two gifted pastors who committed suicide while he was studying for the ministry and his confusion over how this could happen. 

Unfortunately, I have first-hand experience with such confusion.  The first pastor I had as a young adult took his own life not long after I graduated from seminary and had begun working as a college pastor while worshiping at the church he led. Ministering to others amidst my own hurt and disorientation was unnerving; and yet, as strange as it may sound, God met me in that darkness.  While I would have done anything to prevent what happened and wish it had never happened, God changed me and shaped me for ministry in important ways. 

Now, further along in life and ministry, Scott shares his own struggles with anxiety and depression and their impact.  He does so with the hopes that we all might see how “Afflicted does not mean ineffective” and “Damaged does not mean done.” These are good words from a pastor who has felt the pain and found grace and hope in the midst of it. To read the article, click here